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A global team of researchers has published the first-ever Wild Emmer wheat genome sequence in Science magazine. Wild Emmer wheat is the original form of nearly all the domesticated wheat in the world, including durum (pasta) and bread wheat. Wild emmer is too low-yielding to be of use to farmers today, but it contains many attractive characteristics that are being used by plant breeders to improve wheat.

Source: Wheat genome sequencing provides ‘time tunnel’ — boosting future food production & safety

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I can’t quite believe it but it’s been 7 wears since I first signed up with WordPress and started this blog.

Soon I’ll have a link set up and post to my Facebook page as well.

Thanks to all my followers and anyone and everyone who has found something interesting and useful on my site.

Joanna Linsley-Poe

August 28, 2016

Anniversary was actually yesterday the 27 th.

 

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zagrosmountains

 

Original Article:

cbsnews.com

 

BERLIN – Scientists say a previously unknown group of Stone Age farmers may have introduced agriculture to South Asia, challenging earlier theories that attributed the spread of farming to a different population.

Previous research held that a single group of hunter-gatherers developed agriculture in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago and then migrated to Europe, Asia and Africa, where they gradually replaced or mixed with the local population.

But scientists who analyzed ancient human remains found in the Zagros mountains of present-day Iran say they belonged to a completely separate people who appear to have taken up farming around the same time as their cousins further west in Anatolia, now Turkey.

“There was this idea that there’d been one group of genius inventors who developed agriculture,” said Joachim Burger, one of the authors of the study published online Thursday in the journal Science. “Now we can see there were genetically diverse groups.”

Scientists from Europe, the United States and Iran who examined the DNA of 9,000 to 10,000-year-old bone fragments discovered in a cave near Eslamabad, 600 kilometers (370 miles) southwest of the Iranian capital of Tehran, found they belonged to a man with black hair, brown eyes and dark skin.

Intriguingly, the man’s diet included cereals, a sign that he had learned how to cultivate crops, said Fereidoun Biglari of National Museum of Iran, who was also involved in the study.

Along with three other ancient genomes from the Zagros mountains, researchers were able to piece together a picture of a population whose closest modern relatives can be found in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and among members of Iran’s Zoroastrian religious community, said Biglari.

The Zagros people had very different genes than modern Europeans or their crop-planting ancestors in western Anatolia and Greece, said Burger, an anthropologist and population geneticist at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

He said the study’s authors calculated that the two populations likely split at least 50,000 years ago, shortly after humans first ventured out of Africa.

Burger said even though the two ancient farming populations didn’t mix, it’s probable that they knew of – and even learned from – each other, given that the development of agriculture is highly complex and therefore unlikely to have spontaneously occurred twice around the same time.

“You have to build houses, clear forests, cultivate several plants and ensure a plentiful supply of water. You also have to domesticate several animals, be able to grind flour, bake bread,” said Burger. “This is a huge process that takes several thousand years.”

Burger said the findings could help shed light on important developments in human history that have been neglected due to researchers’ long habit of focusing on ancient migratory movements into Europe.

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IMG_1232Original article

ca.finance.yahoo.com

Beer. It’s not the most ideal payment to take home in exchange for a day’s work: it might spill, it could get warm, it might get polluted with dirt, dust and whatever insects are drawn to the sweet nectar while on the road, or you might not make it home at all.
But employers in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Uruk, located in modern-day Iraq, certainly knew how to treat their workers to a good time.

A roughly 5,000-year-old cuneiform stone tablet, in possession of the British Museum in London, shows how workers were paid their daily rations in liquid gold.
According to the New Scientist the tablet is the world’s oldest paycheck.
“On one tablet excavated from (Uruk) we can see a human head eating from a bowl, meaning ‘ration,’ and a conical vessel, meaning ‘beer,’” writes the New Scientist’s Alison George.
“Scattered around are scratches recording the amount of beer for a particular worker.”
The artifact’s entry on the British Museum’s page on Google Arts & Culture indicates that the tablet was made around 3100 to 3000 BC.

It adds that beer was the most popular beverage in Mesopotamia because it was “safer” and “maybe tastier than water.” (Writer’s note: there’s no debate about the second part.)
But this isn’t the only case in history of workers receiving beer for their daily responsibilities. In ancient Egypt, workers who undertook the grueling task of building the received a “daily ration of four to five liters.”

There are also records of poet and the “Father of English literature” Geoffrey Chaucher receiving a yearly salary of 252 gallons of wine from Richard II.
And this practice isn’t exclusive to ancient history. There is a trend of tech companies keeping refrigerators stocked with cold brews and letting them imbibe at the office.
So drink up, fellow proletariats.
By Michael Shulman | Insight – Tue, 28 Jun, 2016 12:55 PM EDT

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Food Quotes

I’ve been away house hunting in New Mexico where I am happy to say we will be moving this fall.
I have a lot of packing to do and I might add posts to catch up on.
First, my husband in trolling the internet found these wonderful food quotes for me.
I thought you might like them.
JLP.

Food history is as important as a baroque church. Governments should recognize cultural heritage and protect traditional foods. A cheese is as worthy of preserving as a sixteenth-century building.” By Carlo Petrini

“A soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition. There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup.” Willa Cather, ‘Death Comes for the Archbishop’ (1927)

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.” -David Auerbach
“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” -Harriet van Horne
“He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” – Jonathan Swift

Cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality.
Clifton Fadiman (1904-1999) American editor and writer.

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.
Marcus Tulius Cicero (106-43 BC) Writer, politician and great roman orator.

Abstain from beans.
Plutarch (46-120) Greek essayist, and biographer.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

J.R.R. Tolkien
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
― Hippocrates

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
― Laurie Colwin

“All sorrows are less with bread. ”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”
― Alice May Brock

“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.”
― Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste: Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy
“Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.

–The Fruit Hunters”
― Thomas Jefferson, The Quotable Jefferson

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”
― James Beard

“A writing cook and a cooking writer must be bold at the desk as well as the stove.”
― Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher

“Perhaps this war will make it simpler for us to go back to some of the old ways we knew before we came over to this land and made the Big Money. Perhaps, even, we will remember how to make good bread again.

It does not cost much. It is pleasant: one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with peace, and the house filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells. But it takes a lot of time. If you can find that, the rest is easy. And if you cannot rightly find it, make it, for probably there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
― Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf

“Indigenous foods die when no one learns to cook them.”
― Jean Zimmerman, Made from Scratch: Reclaiming the Pleasures of the American Hearth

A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do. ~P.J. O’Rourke

Proust had his madeleines; I am devastated by the scent of yeast bread rising. ~Bert Greene

Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It is not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life. ~Lionel Poilane
Fish, to taste right, must swim three times — in water, in butter, and in wine. ~Polish Proverb
Worries go down better with soup. ~Jewish Proverb

Provided it be well and truly made there is really for the confirmed turophile no such thing as a bad cheese. A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk’s leap toward immortality. ~Clifton Fadiman, “The Cheese Stands Alone,” Any Number Can Play, 1957

This is the kind of plant that endears itself to a teenage boy. These weren’t vegetables, they were weapons! And it was legal to grow them. ~James Gorman, about hot peppers (habaneros), “A Perk of Our Evolution: Pleasure in Pain of Chilies,” New York Times, September 20, 2010

There were green infernos and green terrors, yellow jackets and yellow furies, red torrids and red frenzies. ~James Street (1903–1954), “The Grains of Paradise”

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Overhead view of a possible ancient tavern, with three reddish circles marking the bread ovens and pebbles marking built-in benches in the dining room at the right. (Photo: Lattes excavations)

Overhead view of a possible ancient tavern, with three reddish circles marking the bread ovens and pebbles marking built-in benches in the dining room at the right.
(Photo: Lattes excavations)

The kitchen of what looks like an ancient tavern, with three reddish circles where the three ovens -- for baking flatbread and other dishes -- once stood. (Photo: Lattes excavations)

The kitchen of what looks like an ancient tavern, with three reddish circles where the three ovens — for baking flatbread and other dishes — once stood. (Photo: Lattes excavations)

 

Original Article:

Traci Watson, Special to USA TODAY, Feb 2016

usatoday.com

 

Finally a decent place to eat! Archaeologists digging in southern France have found a restaurant-like structure roughly 2,100 years old, making it one of the earliest such taverns in the western Mediterranean.

The dining complex in the ancient town of Lattara was open for business as the Romans conquered the area, bringing with them ideas that would shake up the local economy and way of life. According to the tavern’s discoverers, Lattara’s people were farmers before the Romans marched in; after the Roman takeover, new kinds of jobs likely arose – and so did dining out.

“If you’re not growing your own food, where are you going to eat?” says archaeologist Benjamin Luley of Gettysburg College, co-author of a new study in Antiquity describing the site. “The Romans, in a very practical Roman way, had a very practical solution … a tavern.”

At first the researchers thought they’d uncovered a bakery. In a room near a key intersection in Lattara, excavations over the last five years revealed the remains of three indoor gristmills and a trio of ovens, each three to four feet across, commonly used to bake flatbread. A home cook had no need for equipment on such an industrial scale.

In another room just across a courtyard, earthen benches lined the walls and a charcoal-burning hearth occupied the middle of the floor. Those features suggested a sit-down joint rather than a takeout counter.

The menu must’ve been extensive. Fish bones littered the kitchen, and bones from sheep and cattle were found in the courtyard. The floors were scattered with shards of fancy drinking bowls imported from Italy, as well as debris from large platters and bowls, report Luley and his colleague Gaël Piquès of France’s National Center for Scientific Research.

The interpretation of the site as a tavern is “plausible,” says one scholar who was not associated with the research. The Celtic people of western Europe “were famous (or infamous) in antiquity for their love of wine,” the University of Buffalo’s Stephen Dyson, an expert in Roman archaeology, says via email. The ceramic remains show “they imported the drinking vessels as well as the wine. No guzzling, sotted Celts these.”

But the site did not yield any coins, suggesting the complex could’ve been a private dining room, says Roman historian Penny Goodman of Britain’s University of Leeds. She also says there was ample trade and jobs for artisans in the region even before the Roman conquest, so it wasn’t necessarily the Romans’ arrival that spurred demand for a tavern.

Luley responds that before the Romans, Lattara show no evidence of large workshops that needed lots of labor. He also argues that people tend not to lose coins, so the absence of money in the tavern doesn’t mean diners weren’t paying for their meals.

Broken pottery, however, was regarded as trash, and at Lattara that trash is now providing a window into the carousing that took place. “They’re eating a fair amount,” Luley says, but “the most common ceramic object we found are drinking cups,” making a first-century-B.C. diner sound like the bars of today.

The dining room of what might have been an ancient tavern, showing banks of pebbles where built-in benches once stood against the walls. (Photo: Lattes excavations)

The dining room of what might have been an ancient tavern, showing banks of pebbles where built-in benches once stood against the walls. (Photo: Lattes excavations)

 

 

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Teff

Teff

injera bread

injera bread

 

Original Article:

cnn.com
From Earl Nurse, CNN, Dec 18, 2015

Gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber and minerals, Teff is starting to gain a foothold as a new “superfood”, along the likes of quinoa and spelt.

The grain has been grown in Ethiopia for thousands of years, but its export was banned by the government until this year. Now it is appearing on supermarket shelves worldwide.

It’s also the main ingredient of injera, the flat pancakes that are the centerpiece of Ethiopian food and the source of livelihood for around 6.5 million small farmers.

“When you look across Ethiopia, Teff is the most important commodity for Ethiopia, both on the production side as well as the consumption side,” says Khalid Bomba, the CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency. “Teff is native to the country, but is also a huge part of our culture.”

The Ethiopian government ended the export of raw teff in 2006, as rising grain prices prompted fears of a food crisis. Processed teff — in the form of injera — was still exported, mainly to the Ethiopian diaspora in northern Europe, the Middle East and North America.

The export ban was partially lifted this year, after investments in mechanization and better farming techniques increased yields by 40%.

“The concern that the Ethiopian government had in the past about exporting was in making sure that there was sufficient amount of supply for the domestic market — for urban consumers, as well as the rural poor,” Bomba says. “[Rising yields] have given the government confidence that systematic exports of Teff can gain smallholder farmers in Ethiopia… increased income, without harming the domestic consumers.”

Lifting the ban could create a new and lucrative export industry for Ethiopia, as consumers in Europe and North America latch onto the nutritional properties of teff. Teff flour sells for around $6-10 per pound, and the gluten-free seeds are now in high demand at health food shops the world over.

Hailu Tessema, CEO of Mama Fresh, which exports injera to the US and Scandinavia, says that the demand is growing, and importers from countries across Europe and Africa have approached him looking to secure supplies.

“Every year, the demand increases by foreigners from 7-10%,” he says. “So that is good for us, we have got the business in our hands; we have a market.”

If you go to the CNN link there is a video as well. Check it out.

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